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Hey guys, today I’m going to be stepping away from creepypastas, and investigating the phenomena of “Year Walking” or “Arsgang”

After completing the game “Year Walk” by Simogo, I decided to look into the tradition. It turns out, there is almost no information on the subject, which intrigued me. The basis for Year Walking is that one must lock themselves in a room for 24 hours, deprived of food and drink, and then must walk to the local church three times, and then will be shown the future of the following year, all when avoiding the creatures of Scandinavian folklore. Adding to that, a Year Walk must be done on Christmas Eve, or New Year’s. The creatures involved are the Skogsra, Backahasten, Mylingen,  Nattravnen, and Kirkogrimen. This may seem like a lot of info, but this is almost everything you can find in English, the following information is about the creatures involved, and I found moust of this by translating pages from Swedish.

[1]

Skogsra

(The Huldra)

The Skogsra was known as a seductive forest creature in Scandinavian folklore. Her purpose was to lure people, mostly young men, into the woods, and then kill them. She was also supposedly a shapeshifter. She most of the time had long blond hair, was usually naked, and had the tail of a cow or fox.

[2]

Backahasten

(The Brook Horse)

The Backahasten was supposedly a form of Neck, a shapeshifting water spirit, that would usually appear as a white brook horse. Like the Skogsra, it would lure children to it, and once they climbed onto the horse’s back, it would jump into a brook and drown them.

[3]

Mylingen

(The Myling) 

Ok, this one is just flat out creepy. The Mylingen are the phantasmal “incarnations” of unbaptised children. They would be forced to roam the Earth until they would force someone to bury them properly.

Wait a second

I was never baptised….

[4]

Nattravnen

(Night Raven)

The Nattravnen was a creature that supposedly has holes in its wings so If you look through them you will eventually fall ill and die. It is also known to stalk travelers by night, hence “Night Raven”

[5]

Kyrkogrimen

“Church Grim”

This is for sure my favorite of the five creatures, and the most creepy. The Kyrkogrimen was also part of Nordic folklore, and was the most feared creature. Its purpose was to be the nightly guard at a church, like a caretaker. The strangest thing about this creature was it was commonly described in the form of a goat, like that of the Devil. Bad people had to fear the Kyrkogrimen even after they had died. It acted as a punisher for the evil, like another form of a devil, but was not known to harm the good.

Sorry for the lack of information, this is almost everything I found.

So, is Year Walking real? It was known to have become rare in the late 19th century and had completely died out by the early 20th. Year Walking was believed to have spanned from the Dark Ages to the late 1800s. It started as a Pagan ritual. Other times in the year this tradition was possible were on Easter, Tomasmassonatten, Stefansmassonatten, Twelfth Night, Midsummer’s Night, and Lucia Night. It was also believed that if the walker saw upthrown graves in a cemetery, a plague would come the following year. If the walker saw dwarves or elves carrying sheaves, it meant good harvest. if the walker saw armed men, it meant war was coming.

Once somebody had Year Walked for seven years in a row, they would see a mounted man with a runkavle in his mouth. If the walker was brave or strong enough to grab the runkavle, they would become wise, and would then gain all knowledge of hidden things and be able to see into the future, with out having to Year Walk ever again.

Some church wardens have reported people Year Walking today, which means, possibly, it could be real.Who knows, the story of Year Walking may forever remain a mystery, but besides that, it is still very intriguing.

This project took a lot of research and I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing and researching it.

See you guys later,

-Tyler

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